I never thought I’d get published. I grew up thinking that ‘people like me don’t become writers’.

Virginia Bergin

Virginia Bergin

I work best at night. I like to work when it’s dark and quiet and I know no one and nothing is going to interrupt me. Speaking of which –

I am the Queen of Stews. When I’m writing I don’t want to stop to cook fiddly things, so I stew . . . anything, really.

I’m rubbish at social media. The more exposure I’ve had to it, the more self-conscious and tongue-tied I’ve become.

I thought I couldn’t write Who Runs the World? It was the biggest writing challenge I have ever faced. I questioned every aspect of the story, and my reasons for writing it, and every line – every word! – in it.

I love to laugh. That’s why you’ll find comedy at the most unexpected moments in the stories I write. I can’t help it. I think . . . laughter can be an act of defiance.

I’ve got a crush on science. I love learning new things in any subject area, but science – ooh, and archaeology! – makes me go weak at the knees. My publication present to myself was a subscription to New Scientist. (And it’s a goldmine of ideas for writers.)

Writing is an intense experience. It’s all-consuming. When I finished The Rain (H2O in the US) and The Storm, I realised my personality had merged with that of the main character, 14-year-old Ruby. It took about six months for us to separate.

I am still learning how to ‘be an author’. Before I got published, I had no idea what authors do (other than write). I’m discovering it’s a great opportunity to support and encourage young people – now that I’ve overcome a fear of speaking in public!

I have a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. My favourite weekend activity is rambling.